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Rockwell Automation has extended the capabilities of its Rockwell Software industry solutions with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) Integration Gateway application.

The application allows plants to cost-effectively exchange transactions and execute business processes across plant-floor and business systems in real time.

This exchange is a critical component in achieving demand-driven, agile manufacturing and the ability to deliver a perfect order.

The expandable architecture of the ERP Integration Gateway enables an exchange of the common types of information required for agile manufacturing, such as quality, order planning and scheduling as well as the accounting of production costs and material usage.

The ability to exchange quality information between manufacturing and business systems provides a number of benefits, including fewer deviations and exceptions, a lower cost of quality and compliance and the faster release of finished goods, which helps to improve customer satisfaction.

The integration of order planning and scheduling also helps manufacturers to improve on-time delivery, supply-chain efficiencies and resource utilisation and it provides the ability to respond quickly to changing business demands.

Integrating the accounting of production costs and material usage can help to reduce cycle times and inventories and can provide the accurate accounting of product and production costs.

Simon Jacobson and Roddy Martin of Gartner wrote in a 2009 research note they co-authored on manufacturing execution systems: ‘Companies operating an agile, compliant and cost-effective operations environment can potentially halve manufacturing costs in five years, but investments must be aligned and prioritised against these business requirements to move forward.

‘Progressive companies see manufacturing IT investments as part of this transformation,’ they added.

The ERP Integration Gateway is delivered on the Rockwell Software manufacturing services bus – a key component of the Rockwell Software manufacturing operations platform.

The manufacturing services bus provides a service-oriented architecture framework for messaging between applications that is secure and scalable.

The manufacturing services bus supports all of the common enterprise integration patterns and more than 30 different transport technologies, allowing for deployment into any existing IT environment with minimal disruption.

The message bus helps to provide a maximum return on existing IT investments, simplifies integration projects and eliminates dependencies between systems.

‘Manufacturers have the opportunity to significantly reduce total cost of ownership with the Rockwell Software manufacturing operations platform by taking advantage of graphical data mapping capabilities, an integration framework and support from our experienced, global service teams,’ said Keith Chambers, manufacturing operations platform business manager at Rockwell Automation.

The Rockwell Software manufacturing operations platform leverages existing IT skill sets and infrastructure to help reduce installation and maintenance costs.

Graphical data mapping and the use of open, industry-standard tools provide visual data transformation that does not require coding, allowing users to benefit from fast deployments, low risk and low maintenance costs.

Advantages of the integration framework include an ability for the repeatable deployment of standard functionality, which can be extended to support customised ERP deployments.

The global service teams at Rockwell Automation utilise standard implementation methodologies with local resources.

Rockwell Automation

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